May 10, 2012 | by Kevin Majoros
Bump, set, spike!

Volleyball action at the Charm City Invitational 27 (Photo by John Kardys Photography)

Charm City Volleyball is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year as a local LGBT sports team. The team was founded in 1982 by John Kardys who still plays on a weekly basis.

The group offers two options for men and women who are interested in playing volleyball. On Wednesdays, players meet for social play at the Mount Royal Recreation Center in Baltimore from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. The court fees are $3 per person.

“We have about 20-30 people who come on a regular basis for social play,” says Chris Wulin, club director. “It usually evolves into a social gathering after we finish playing.”

On Sundays, the group reserves courts at the Volleyball House in Elkridge, Md., from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. for competitive play. The court fees are $7 per person.

On those days, North American Gay Volleyball Association (NAGVA)-sanctioned teams meet up to hone their skills for future tournaments.

Charm City Volleyball has four sanctioned teams that practice on Sundays. Sometimes they are joined by teams from D.C. and Harrisburg, Pa.

NAGVA sanctions about 30 tournaments a year and the Charm City teams can often be found on the road competing in cities such as Boston, New York, Atlanta and New Orleans.

Coming up on May 25, three teams from Charm City will be heading to the NAGVA Championships XXX in Las Vegas.

There are 169 teams registered for the Championships from all over North America and Puerto Rico. To compete in the tournament, a team has to have played in at least one NAGVA sanctioned event.

Under NAGVA rules, and to promote fair play, players are rated and separated into divisions according to ability. A request is made to the regional commissioner for a rating to be assigned to a player. The commissioner then enlists three-to-five other players for information to assign the rating.

Wulin, who is also a NAGVA regional commissioner says, “The rating process can be a little political. If it is policed properly, it is still a good system for matching players with similar skills.”

Two weeks ago, the group hosted the 27th annual Charm City Invitational in Elkridge, Md. Forty teams from North America, including teams from Chicago, Pittsburgh, New York, D.C., Puerto Rico and Baltimore competed in three divisions.

On Saturday, the teams competed in eight games of pool play which was followed on Sunday with double elimination play.

Tournament Results for Charm City Invitational 27:

A Division:
First — NY Spafinder.com
Second — NY Hazzoo
Third — Baltimore B-more Boys

BB Division:
First — Baltimore Kiraly Babies
Second — NY Fat Girls
Third — Baltimore Hawaii 5.3

B Division:
First — NY Whitney
Second — Harrisburg Swallows
Third — Baltimore Wack Attack

More information on Charm City Volleyball is at volleybaltimore.org.

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